It was the year 1913, when the Musumeci Greco family had their first close encounter with the entertainment world: the Apulian director Gerolamo Lo Savio chose Agesilao Greco, then already a celebrity for his fencing merits, as the protagonist of his silent film L fatal assault. Agesilao, an elegant and good-looking swordsman, plays Guido, a young fencer who falls in love with a countess, who, however, is promised to a banker, whom he must forcibly marry to lift his family from the economic abyss. From the rivalry of the two suitors a duel will obviously arise in the Academy, which from a mere single sporting match becomes, as the title suggests, “fatal”. Restored by the Cineteca di Bologna in 2017, the fatal assault is a medium-length film (in fact it lasts just over 30 minutes) that at the time had a remarkable success, thanks also to the interpretation of Agesilao, more than “realistic”: authentic. It is as if today it takes a basketball champion to play a basketball champion.
On the occasion of the 16th edition of the Rome Film Fest, our idea is to do an experiment. In the vision we have, the fatal assault will be screened, in its version restored by the Cineteca di Bologna, in front of an audience who will be able to enjoy the vision with a musical background: the original music, in fact, will be composed and performed live by a pianist , which will accompany the sequences of the film. The musician in question will be an artist from the Jandomusic stable, the “factory” born from the mind of Giandomenico Ciaramella, philanthropist and patron of music.
The idea is to celebrate a film that has meant so much for the history of Italian silent cinema (and for that of the Musumeci Greco family) with a pinch of contemporaneity, to rediscover what today seems to us an almost anachronistic art; yet there is another very famous example that can be done, “talking about images and music”: in 1940 Disney made a similar (and at the same time different) experiment with Fantasia, in which the music of masterpieces such as Le Sacre du printemps by Igor Stravinskij, or the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach marry animated images that have remained etched in our memory as children and, why not, also as adults.
But the show doesn’t end there. We started with a duel, and with a duel we want to conclude: immediately after the screening of the film, live fencing assaults are scheduled performed by our able-bodied and wheelchair-bound Champions, who will “challenge” each other on the platform, without breaking any point. . This “exit from the fourth wall” is a passage that the public will adore: it is very exciting, in fact, for those who have never seen it, to attend a live fencing performance, especially after having seen it on celluloid.